Lloyds to cut 49 more branches
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, says: “Having returned to profitability Lloyds needs to stop ignoring its corporate social responsibilities. Just over six months ago the bank announced the closure of 100 branches [and 200 job cuts] and today another 49 branches. The news today will not be welcomed by staff or the customers left with no access to local banking.”
A Lloyds spokesman says: “Customers are increasingly choosing to use digital and mobile channels for their everyday banking needs. As a consequence, the number of customers visiting some of our branches has declined in recent years.”
Unite has “warned the bank that the ongoing bank branch closure programme is undermining their vision for growth and leaves more local communities without access to valued local banking”.
Overall, 32 Lloyds branches will be shut, along with 11 Bank of Scotland branches and six Halifax.
The UK blues
The grim news follows on from March, when Lloyds said it plans to outsource its tech to IBM in a seven-year deal worth £1.3 billion. More than 1,900 jobs will be shifted to IBM and £760 million of costs will be cut as a result.
Also, as reported in November last year, Lloyds announced it was getting rid of a further 49 branches and 665 jobs. The bank will offer services via mobile vans to the communities affected by the branch closures.
Lloyds was bailed out in 2008 and has been on a restructuring path since. It has separated and sold its domestic retail business, TSB (now owned by Spanish banking group Sabadell), and is looking to shed 12,000 jobs and close 400 branches by the end of 2017.
The bank says that the branch use across its brands (Lloyds, HBOS and Bank of Scotland) has been falling 15% year on year – hence the closures are necessary.